[W]e note that the document appears to be in 12 point font, not 13 point font. I’m pretty sure this specific topic was a point of discussion among all counsel prior to filing our respective briefs, and each party appeared to recognize the continuing 13-point font requirement.
Thus, we were surprised to receive the State’s 12-point font brief. The apparent failure to comply with the Court’s order had the effect of substantially increasing the State’s page limitations and, under the circumstances, prejudices the United States.
— Bradley Heard, a lawyer with the Department of Justice, in a weekend email sent to a group of attorneys from Bancroft. The firm represents South Carolina in an ongoing dispute with the DOJ over the state’s voter ID law.
(Was there a resolution in this case of prejudice by font?)
H. Christopher Bartolomucci, a Bancroft partner, wasn’t about to let a whiny DOJ attorney screw with his firm’s brief, so he informed Heard that the firm would only revise its filing upon the court’s request. This, of course, prompted Heard to file an emergency motion with the court at 10:51 on a Saturday night.
Bartolomucci waited until the next day, a Sunday, to file his response with the court. It was short and sweet, and finished up with an especially snarky flourish in the last paragraph:
Unfortunate, indeed. How embarrassing for the United States.
In the end, the judges on the case — Judge Brett Kavanaugh (D.C. Cir.) and Judge John Bates (D.D.C.) — decided to
give the baby its baba appease the DOJ, and instead of requiring South Carolina to comply with the 13-point font standard, they granted leave for the United States to re-file its brief in 12-point font.
It just goes to show that size does matter.
In voter ID case, how big is the letter of the law? [National Law Journal]